Exhibition at The Goldsmiths’ Centre as Part of Silver Speaks 1st June - 22nd September 2016
FORM was curated by Anne Kernan, designer & tool lover who has worked with many big jewellery names. This free exhibition was held at The Goldsmith's Centre as part of Silver Speaks, a year of programs celebrating 20 years of Contemporary British Silversmiths.
The unique idea behind FORM was that the favourite tools used by each silversmith were also exhibited alongside the exquisite silver objects they created.
Our gallery team at Gill Wing Jewellery are also all makers ourselves, so we were excited to see an exhibition which showcased the hardworking tools behind the precious silver pieces.
One of the most popular tools in the exhibition was the hammer.
Placing such a heavy, rugged object next to a beautifully finished piece of luxury silverware shows the contrast between the two. It makes you think of the expert skill used to make such a fine and delicate looking piece from such a brutish object, but hammers really are some of the most cherished items in the makers’ toolbox.
As well as the solid steel (or iron) head, you also notice how the handle is worn smooth from decades of use, where it may have passed through several maker’s skilled hands.
Amidst the marks of wear and tear, and sometimes a manufacturer or maker's mark, old tools are often hand carved with more than one set of initials as it's found it's way to different owners.
Many thanks to the silversmiths for sharing their stories about their favourite tools in this exhibition. They must have missed them terribly whilst they were in the display, but hopefully they will be reunited with their trusty allies soon to make more wonderful things together.